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  • Welsh: Ynys-hir (English pronunciation 'Un-is-heer')
Thomas's Place, Ynyshir - geograph.org.uk - 952420.jpg
Ynyshir is located in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population3,320 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST025925
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPORTH
Postcode districtCF39
Dialling code01443
PoliceSouth Wales
FireSouth Wales
UK Parliament
List of places
Rhondda Cynon Taf
51°37′22″N 3°24′35″W / 51.622844°N 3.409818°W / 51.622844; -3.409818Coordinates: 51°37′22″N 3°24′35″W / 51.622844°N 3.409818°W / 51.622844; -3.409818

Ynyshir[2] is a village and community (and electoral ward) located in the Rhondda Valley, within Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. Ynyshir is pronounced (ənɪs-hiːr) according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and means "long island"[3][4] in Welsh. The village takes its name from a farm in the area, falling within the historic parishes of Ystradyfodwg and Llanwynno (Llanwonno).[5] The community of Ynyshir lies between the small adjoining village of Wattstown and the larger town of neighbouring Porth.

Ynyshir has its own library, post office, doctor's surgery and a number of shops and other significant amenities, although these represent a fraction of the businesses that once fronted the main road – Ynyshir Road during the village's heyday.[6] It is also home to local football teams Ynyshir Albions and Ynyshir and Wattstown Boys Club.


Until the mid-18th century Ynyshir was a sparsely populated agricultural area. Then in the 1840s the first deep coal mine was sunk in the village,[7] representing the first colliery to be opened in the Rhondda Fach valley, and consequently Ynyshir also represents the earliest colliery settlement of the valley.[8]

The initial development of the village began along the west bank of the Rhondda Fach river within the parish of Ystradyfodwg on the land occupied by Ynyshir farm, later followed by the development east of the river within the parish of Llanwonno on land owned by Maendy and Penrhiw farms. By 1900 much of the village which is evident today was in place.

In 1841 the Taff Vale Railway reached neighbouring Dinas and with the train came far greater commercial opportunities for prospective colliery owners, with the first section of the Rhondda Fach Branch of the Taff Vale railway being marked by the extension of the railway from Porth and Dinas to Ynyshir in 1849.[9]

St Anne's Church

Ynyshir was home to several chapels/churches, namely Ainon Chapel (Welsh Baptist), Bethany Chapel (English Baptist),[10] Moriah Chapel (Calvinistic Methodist), St Anne's (Church in Wales), Saron Chapel (Welsh Independent), Ynyshir Welsh Wesleyan Methodist Chapel,[11] Bethel Chapel (Welsh Baptist), Penuel Chapel (English Independent), Tabernacle Chapel (Congregational Methodist) and Ynyshir English Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

Ynyshir Welfare Band at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff

In 2009 the new modern £5.5 million Ynyshir Community Primary School located on Llanwonno Road was opened;[12] this was to replace the previous Ynyshir Junior School and later in 2010 also replaced the old Ynyshir Infants School off Gynor Place.


Shepherd and Evans sank the first deep mine in Ynyshir[13] in 1845. The mine was subsequently bought by Francis Crawshay to supply the Crawshay Ironworks in Treforest. The Ynyshir colliery would be followed by the Ynyshir Steam Colliery, Standard 1 pit in 1875 and Standard 2 pit in 1876 [14][15] and then in 1904 the Lady Lewis opened, which was later connected underground to the Lewis Merthyr Consolidated Collieries (today the Rhondda Heritage Park) at Hafod (Trehafod).[7]

In 1896, local twins the Lewis brothers invented carbonated soft-drink Lurvills Delight, the profits from which allowed 150 local mining families to emigrate to the United States. Production ceased in 1910, due a local shortage of dock leaves.


The Ynyshir electoral ward is coterminous with the borders of the Ynyshir community and elects one county councillor to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Since 1995 representation has flipped between the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru.[16] At the May 2017 election Plaid Cymru won the contest.[17]

A 2018 review of electoral arrangements by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales would see Ynyshir merged with neighbouring Tylorstown. The proposals would take effect from the 2022 council elections.[18]


Between 1849 and 1856, the Taff Vale Railway opened the Maerdy Branch from Porth, including a station at Ynyshir. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1964, and the line closed completely and was lifted from June 1986 after coal from Mardy Colliery was raised through Tower Colliery.

In 2005, RCT council constructed the A4223 Porth and Lower Rhondda Fach Relief Road (Porth Bypass), which follows the old Rhondda Fach branch railway line through Ynyshir, past Wattstown and on to Pontygwaith. Its construction has meant a significant decrease in traffic flows through the village.[19]


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Check Browser Settings". Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ & Wattstown Communities First Archived 2010-02-20 at the Wayback Machine communitiesfirst.co.uk
  3. ^ Y Geiriadur Mawr/The Complete Welsh English, English Welsh Dictionary, Gwasg Gomer 1958 et seq
  4. ^ Morgan, Thomas (1887). The Place Names of Wales (2nd ed.). Newport: John E. Southall. p. 211.
  5. ^ Ynyshir in the Parish of Ystradyfodwg genuki.org.uk
  6. ^ Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valleys, Glamorgan Archived 2010-08-07 at the Wayback Machine anglesey.info
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "The Rhondda Main". Ggat.org.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "The Churches of Britain and Ireland – Rhondda Cynon Taff". Churches-uk-ireland.org. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ John, Arthur H. Glamorgan County History, Volume V, Industrial Glamorgan from 1700 to 1970, University of Wales Press; Cardiff (1980) pg. 182
  14. ^ Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 751. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
  15. ^ "Photo". Welshcoalmines. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  16. ^ Rhondda Cyon Taff County Borough Council Election Results 1995-2012, The Election Centre. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  17. ^ County Borough Council Elections 2017, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  18. ^ Anthony Lewis (30 August 2018). "The number of electoral council wards in Rhondda Cynon Taf could be cut for 2022 election". Wales Online. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  19. ^ "BRE GroupBuilding a better world together" (PDF). Demos.constructingexcellence.org.uk. Retrieved 12 February 2017.

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